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3 reasons the Bills should draft: Temple CB Nate Hairston

Position: Cornerback.
School: Temple.
Measurables: 6-foot, 196 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds. Vertical jump: 35.5 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches. 225-pound bench press: 14 reps.
Career stats: 43 games, 20 catches, 150 yards, 40 tackles, six passes defensed, two interceptions.
Draft projection: Seventh round.


1. He could be a diamond in the rough. Hairston switched to cornerback prior to the 2015 season after starting his college career at wide receiver. After playing as a reserve in 2015, he started all 13 games in 2016. He has been targeted just 46 times in college, so experience is lacking, but there are signs the tools are there. The Owls' defense finished third overall in the nation in 2016.

2. He looks like a fit for what the Bills want to do defensively. Hairston played mostly in a zone scheme with the Owls, which is what the Bills will use under new coach Sean McDermott. He also showed a good willingness to tackle and has the instincts that come with being a converted receiver.

3. There is a clear interest on the Bills' part. Buffalo brought Hairston in for one of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits, and also spent time with him during the East-West Shrine Game. The Bills have a need at the position after letting Stephon Gilmore go in free agency and cutting Nickell Robey-Coleman.

Fun fact: Former Owls coach Matt Rhule, now the head man at Baylor, called Hairston's mother after the 2015 season and said he couldn't keep him on scholarship, but after the conversation, one more chance was given. Hairston rewarded the coach, and at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month, Rhule said he had become "the epitome of everything we believe in."

They said it: "Hairston is a projection-based talent who should become a much better player in two years than he is today." – draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Alabama LB Tim Williams.

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